Monday, 24 January 2011

Burns Supper: Haggis and Whisky Pie

Fair fa' your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye take your place,
Painch, tripe or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.
Address to a Haggis

The 25th of January is Robert Burns Day. This will be my first Burns Supper in Scotland and I think it's amazing that people all over Scotland will be celebrating the renowned poet. Haggis is traditionally served at a Burns Supper and is the most famous of Scotland's dishes - and for good reason, it's delicious. At a formal Burns Supper it is served as the main dish with bashed neeps and tatties and the above poem, "Address to a Haggis", is recited. It is tasty but if you're not a fan of offal it may not be for you - it consists of sheep's heart, liver and lungs, mixed with onion, oatmeal and spices. Haggis would be cooked in a sheep's stomach or intestines traditionally, but these days can also be in a synthetic skin. For the squeamish, it's vegetarian cousin uses the same spices but has lentils instead of offal and is also delicious. I bought my haggis from Crombies on Broughton Street, an excellent butcher's whose sausages and pies also come highly recommended. 

This is an alternative way of eating haggis and this simple recipe combines it with whisky, mushrooms and bacon in tasty pie for and also a good way of using up leftover haggis. I first made this for an international pie competition (that other Scottish option of macaroni pie was thoroughly vetoed), finding it on and have enjoyed baking it since then - it's a very straightforward recipe and easy to make. You should of course serve with bashed neeps and tatties. Here are some other Burns Supper ideas - including a delicious sounding whisky gravy which would go perfectly with this pie.

Haggis, Mushroom and Whisky Pie
Serves 6

1 tablespoon of oil
1 onion, finely diced
250g unsmoked bacon, diced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
450g haggis
150mL chicken stock
4tbsp Scotch whisky
500g shortcrust pastry - I use this recipe or you can use ready made

1 beaten egg or milk to glaze


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the bacon and onions and cook for 6-8 minutes until golden.
2. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
3. Remove the haggis from it's casing, slice and stir into the bacon mixture with the stock and whisky
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes then allow the mixture to cool.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6
6. Cut the pastry in half and roll out on portion on a lightly floured surface and use to line a round pie dish approximately 23cm in diameter.
7. Spoon the cooled haggis mixture into the centre.
8. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to top the pie, moistening the edges to ensure a complete seal.
9. Use pastry trimmings to decorate the pie.
10. Brush with beaten egg or milk to glaze and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 35 minutes, until golden.


Cameron said...

Hi! I'm a friend of Kathryn Wood - she told me about your blog. Happy Burns Night! This recipe sounds really good - haggis isn't that easy to come by here in the States but I bet you could substitute with ground beef and come up with a tasty dish for any night, not just a holiday!

Katey said...

Hi Cameron! I remember looking at your blog just before Christmas when Kathryn was printing out lots of recipes for the holidays :-) I'd never had haggis before moving to Edinburgh - now I see it comes in tins, on pizzas and is on most menus! I think it would be really nice with ground beef as well - surely whisky and bacon can improve any pie! Someone from work is bringing in a veggie haggis recipe for me so I might give that a go one day too.

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